Apples are among my very favorite foods, and I love them as the sweet, crisp edge in an otherwise savory dish -- the combo here allows the spices to really pop. This lovely, simple salad works served warm, just after the lentils are cooked, or at room temperature -- let the lentils cool in the fridge or on the counter before mixing in the apples and lemon juice. —Meister
cloves garlic, minced
ground black pepper
salt to taste
green or brown lentils
red onion, thinly sliced
tart red apples, diced (Braeburn or Cameos work well)
In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add garlic and cook until soft, but not brown (2-3 minutes).
Stir in spices and lentils and mix together well. Cook until fragrant (2 minutes).
Add water and bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are soft and the water is absorbed (25–35 minutes).
In a large bowl, combine lentils, red onion slices, apples, and lemon juice. Serve warm or at room temperature (for the latter, let the lentil-onion mixture cool for 30 minutes before adding the apples and lemon juice).